Holiday Cook-off

Meemaw’s Buckeyes

This incredible peanut butter treat brings back many nostalgic memories coming into the winter season. My grandma, also known as Meemaw, has been making this dessert for as long as I could remember. As some may know, Buckeyes are the mascot for the Ohio State football team. My grandma and my moms whole side of the family grew up in Ohio and Meemaw herself might be the biggest Ohio State fan of all time. She came up with this delicious recipe of these buckeye looking candies before I was born and it is a family tradition to always make them around the holidays. Meemaw just recently moved to California from Ohio just months ago and I had the honor of making these with her. It gives her a little taste of back home and are even better when she helps make them!

Buckeye Dessert Actual Buckeye


  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine or butter
  • 1 box confectioners sugar
  • 2 cups peanut butter
  • 12 oz. semi-sweet chocolate chips
  • 1/2 slab paraffin wax

Combine margarine/butter, sugar, & peanut butter. Shape into small balls. Chill for 1 hour. Melt chocolate chips and paraffin. Dip balls into melted chocolate using toothpicks. Place on waxed paper to set. (Makes approximately 40 Buckeyes)

This addicting treat is easy to make and are super fun to make with family!

Holiday Cook-off

A Norris Family Marinara Sauce Recipe

Growing up, the holidays were an interesting time for culture and religion in the Norris household. My dad’s side of the family is Jewish and my mom’s side of the family is Christian, but I never really went to church or temple. We celebrated with a focus on family, and our various backgrounds played out in the traditions that we set. For example, each Christmas morning we’d gather with the Jewish side of the family and eat lox and bagels while opening our stockings. The house was decorated with Christmas lights outside and menorahs inside. And for some reason, we often ate spaghetti and meatballs for dinner on Christmas Eve because, you know, none of us are Italian but we love pasta!

Not to mention, when I was young, my mom and dad owned an Italian restaurant in Valencia called Pauli’s. Their marinara was based on an old family recipe that was enhanced by a chef that they admired. I’ve been cooking this sauce for nearly 20 years and have made some of my own modifications, too. A good recipe can change over time, as flavors evolve and new preferences influence tastes. This is what makes the culinary arts a practice in which creativity and experimentation are present. Before you get started, though, let’s set the mood…

Cooking is a unique process that can connect the past with the present. The techniques, aromas and sounds involved are simultaneously old-fashioned and modern. I read plenty of examples of this in Sylvia’s article A little bit of Italy on the Thanksgiving Table.

In my house, when I cook Italian food, my first step isn’t to gather the ingredients or pots and pans that I’ll be using. Before any of that happens, I put some Rat Pack songs on to create a certain feeling of inspiration. Dean Martin crooning “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie” truly is amore and sets a certain ambiance that lets me be at my best. If you don’t care for the Rat Pack, try your favorite Vivaldi or maybe even put on the wedding scene from The Godfather:

Music? Check. Next up? Wine!

When cooking with wine, always use a bottle that you’ll enjoy drinking with your meal (spoiler alert, there’s wine involved in this recipe). And while an Italian red like a Chianti is great for marinara sauce, I prefer using local ingredients because it creates a bond between the food that you eat and the place that you reside. I’m fortunate to live in California, where the wine that comes out of places like Napa Valley and Paso Robles are award-winning and delicious. Chianti is only from that region in Italy, but it uses the Sangiovese grape, which is prevalent here in California. So in place of a Chianti, give a Sangiovese by Eberle or Niner a try, you won’t be disappointed. For more ideas on which California Sangiovese to try, check out Vivino.

Now that we have a soundtrack in place and the wine is flowing, we can begin…


2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
28 ounce can tomato sauce
28 ounce can crushed tomatoes
6 ounce can tomato paste
14 ounce can vegetable broth
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon sugar
generous glug of red wine


Pour olive oil into a large pot over medium heat. When warm, add garlic and let aroma unlock for 30 seconds, then add onion, carrot, chili flakes, salt and pepper. Two notes… 1) don’t let the garlic burn, and 2) carrot is used to make the sauce sweet and reduce the amount of sugar needed. Let these ingredients sweat and brown for up to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Increase heat and add the rest of the ingredients, stirring gently so that the bay leaves don’t break. Once the sauce begins to boil, reduce heat to a simmer and place a lid on top of the pot, leaving a 1/4-inch opening for steam to escape. Stir gently every 20 minutes for 2 hours.

The recipe that I’ve shared has been adapted from its original form to accommodate my amazing wife, who happens to be a vegetarian. If you’re a carnivore that wants to add some meaty flavor to your sauce, you can brown a pound of sweet Italian sausage along with the onion and carrot, and replace the vegetable broth with chicken broth.

Once your marinara is done simmering, it’s ready to serve. For a simple meal, you can boil some spaghetti noodles and ladle sauce over it, topping with parmesan cheese. For more adventurous cooking, you can use it with your chicken parmesan, sausage and peppers, and even on pizza in place of regular pizza sauce. Pizza sauce is usually just a watered down marinara recipe that uses less ingredients and is cooked for a shorter amount of time. Personally, I want all of the flavors in my pizza so I always use marinara instead of pizza sauce.

So there you have it, a (not so world-famous) Norris family marinara sauce recipe that can easily act as the foundation of your escapades into Italian cooking. Give it a try and feel free to add or subtract ingredients as you see fit. If you come up with a groundbreaking revelation that you have to share, you can do so in the comments section below and I’ll be happy to try any suggestions out. Buon appetito!

Food & Beverage Holiday Cook-off

Cafe de Olla

To me, being Mexican-American means eating complex meals on the holidays, surrounded by family, and talking about life and our favorite Mexico memories while we sip on a delicious mug full of Cafe de Olla.

This deliciously strong, sweet and cinnamon-y drink has been the center of countless conversations with my loved ones. I have sipped on it while my grandparents daydream with me about their childhood memories, their parents and how proud they would have been to have seen us build a life here in the States while still managing to hold onto the most special things Mexico has given us: family, love, memories, food and drinks. 

Making this drink is easier than many people think and the ingredient list is short so, if you would like to talk about life, love and memories with your loved ones this holiday season, this might be the perfect drink to warm up your palms and keep the conversation going.


  • Coffee
  • Water
  • Mexican whole stick cinnamon
  • Piloncillo (sugar will do but this is a block of cane sugar that is sure to give your Cafe de Olla a unique flavor profile)


  • Place however many cups of water you want in a pot and place a stick of Mexican cinnamon in it. Heat on medium-high heat for 10-15 minutes, depending on the amount of water you are choosing to boil.

  • Let the coffee, cinnamon and water come to its boiling point then add piloncillo or sugar to taste.

  • Once the piloncillo or sugar is in, leave on medium-high for 3-5 minutes. Once the time is up, lower the heat to medium/medium-low and let simmer for 15-20 minutes.
  • Once the 15-20 minutes are up, take your coffee off the heat and set aside to cool for a couple minutes.
  • Strain into a mug (or a taza de barro like me), and enjoy your delicious cup of coffee! 
    • If you need to add some creamer, add a bit of a hazelnut or original flavor creamer and drink up!

I hope this coffee warms you up like its warmed the hearts of my loved ones for generations and generations!

Please leave us a comment to let us know if you tried this classic Mexican Cafe de Olla.

Holiday Cook-off

Grandma Julie’s French Apple Pie

I’m pretty sure I was born with a rolling pin in my hand… As far back as I can remember, baking has been at the heart of the holiday season. From Christmas cookies (8 different kinds) to Norwegian delicacies like lefse, we’ve always prided ourselves in our confections!

Every year, my Grandma Julie would come visit us at our home in Lake Tahoe for either Thanksgiving, Christmas or both holidays. She raised my mom to cherish holiday traditions and share our sweet creations with friends and neighbors.

The nostalgic recipe that reminds me most of my Grandma Julie is her French Apple Pie. I’ve helped make this for the family every year since I was 2! Now that I have children of my own, I get to share my love for baking and pass the torch on to them. From rolling the pie crust to patting the crumble topping, I can hear my grandma guiding me.

Four years ago my grandma passed away. The holidays aren’t the same without her, but I feel her close to me when I bake, especially during the holiday season. Her spirit and joy for the season lives on in her recipes and in our hearts. This year, it was exciting baking with my girls and letting them do almost all of the work!

Prep Time: 30 minutes | Bake Time: 1 hour | Total Time: 1 hour, 30 min


Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 Pillsbury Pie Crust
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ¾ cup white sugar
  • ¼ tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1.2 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. All Purpose Flour
  • Dash of salt
  • 6-7 apples cored, peeled and sliced (look for them at the Channel Islands Farmer’s Market!)

Topping Ingredients:

  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 1 cube (½ cup) butter or margarine 
  • 1 cup all purpose flour

Special Materials needed:

  • 8-10” Pie Pan
  • Whisk or Pastry Cutter
  • Mixing Bowls
  • Apple corer or peeler


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees
  2. Take out pie crust and allow to warm to room temperature (10-15 minutes)
  3. Mix all dry ingredients for filling in a bowl, whisk until clumps are gone
  4. Roll pie crust out and place in pie pan, crimp edges (need inspo? click here!)
  5. Fill unbaked pie crust about ½ full of apple pieces
  6. Sprinkle a little less than ½ the dry ingredient mixture
  7. Fill pie crust evenly with remaining apple pieces, then the rest of the dry ingredients
  8. Dot with 2 tsp. Butter 
  9. For the topping, mix the brown sugar and cube of butter
  10. Blend in 1 cup flour until crumbly
  11. Press topping on pie, making sure crust is covered, punch air hole in center
  12. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, then reduce to 350 degrees for 45 minutes (Cover pie edges with string of foil when reducing heat
  13. Remove from oven when golden brown and allow to cool
  14. Keep pie at room temperature until serving, refrigerate after cutting 
  15. Enjoy!

I hope you enjoy making this recipe as much as I do. Also, a word of caution…this recipe never has leftovers because everyone goes crazy for it! (I highly recommend making a second one to enjoy all to yourself!)

Holiday Cook-off

Ms. Lange’s Potato Salad

I am not a chef. In fact, I wouldn’t even qualify myself as a cook.

In a past article, I proposed that everyone should have a handful of basic recipes that they can rely on. As someone who breaks out in a cold sweat at the thought of following a recipe in a timely manner, I am one of those people who needs basic – and I mean basic – recipes. If I don’t read a recipe at least 15 times prior to cooking, something that should take 10 minutes will most definitely take an hour.

Ok so you get it, right? I’m not great at cooking.

I should be, though.

Most people develop their cooking skills from family, shadowing their parents and grandparents in the kitchen and cutting their teeth on recipes passed down through generations. My story wasn’t any different. I sat in the kitchen during every holiday and family gathering, watching my grandmother and all of my aunties cook the dishes that I now associate with comfort and affection. Dishes like Filé Gumbo and Pecan Pie and Crab Soup.

For as much as I witnessed all of this cooking and baking and memory-making, I should be a James Beard Award-Winning chef.

And I’m not exaggerating – my grandmother’s sister, who learned the same family recipes from the same matriarch, is a James Beard Award-Winning chef. That’s right, my aunt was such an influential chef, she inspired the creation of a Disney Princess. She was Tiana. 

Basically, I’m saying I have no excuse. I should be able to do all of this, but for whatever reason, I’ve never felt as comfortable in the kitchen as I would like to. This is why my grandmother’s (or more accurately, my great-grandmother’s) potato salad recipe is so important to me. 

I learned how to make this recipe for two reasons: because I hate every other potato salad I’ve ever tried and because it’s so incredibly simple. It’s simple, but still delicious and makes me feel close to my family every time I make it and share it with others. Also, it makes the others that I share it with think I can cook. Next time you have a potluck or dinner party, whip up a batch of this potato salad and watch as your friends’ eyes light up. You can thank me later.

Ms. Lange’s Potato Salad


Serving Size 8

8 potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

8 hard-boiled eggs, peeled and diced

2 cups Mayonnaise

¼ cup Green onions, chopped 

¼ cup Parsley, chopped



Step One: Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. The general rule of thumb is to include one potato and one egg per serving. This recipe calls for eight, but if you’re only cooking for six people, use six potatoes and six eggs. Likewise, if you’re feeding an entire baseball team, maybe buy a whole bag of potatoes. You will most likely have leftovers, but it’s a good thing to keep in mind. Next, you’ll put the potatoes in a big pot, fill it with water about an inch higher than the potatoes, bring it to a boil and let them cook for about 15-20 minutes or until they are soft all the way through. Then drain the potatoes and let them cool. In the past, I’ve cooked the potatoes before I’ve cut them, but I’ve found that you get a more even cook if all the potatoes are cut to the same size. Besides, they call that game “Hot Potato” for a reason.

Step Two: Hard boil the eggs. I’ve read so many different instructions on how to hard boil eggs and I’m sure I do it a different way each time. I’ve done it on the stove, in an Instant Pot, I’ve even seen instructions on how to do it in the oven. It doesn’t matter much how you do it, but if you’re like me and always have to look it up, here you go: put the eggs in a pot, fill it with water about an inch higher than the eggs. Bring the water to a boil, then take it off the heat, cover it and let the pot sit for about 10 minutes. After that, put the eggs in a bowl of ice water and let them sit for another 10-15 minutes, or until they’re cool. When they’re cool enough to touch, peel them and dice them into sections about one centimeter wide. 

Step Three: Mix it all together! Stir the eggs and potatoes all together with the mayo, adding in the diced parsley and green onions as you go. If you’re not a fan of mayo you can use less. If you love it like I do, add in as much as you want! Season with salt and pepper to taste, let it chill out in the fridge for a bit, and you’re good to go!

Holiday Cook-off

Crazy Easy Cranberry Sauce

One thing to know about me; I don’t cook. When I do cook, it is in the most basic way possible. I eat at Chipotle 3 times a week, cooking is not my forte. However, I have always loved cranberry sauce. For as long as I could remember, I was one of the only people in my family who loved it, and I would demand it every year at Thanksgiving. This year I decided – Hey, it’s pretty simple! Could I really mess this up? Spoiler; it actually came out really well! Someone call Gordon Ramsay!

Crazy Easy Cranberry Sauce Recipe

If you somehow mess this up, maybe it’s not time for college yet!

Step 1: you will need whole cranberries, sugar, water and lime.

Step 2: Put one cup of water into a pot (I was later told by my mother that the cranberries are supposed to go first- but does that really matter?)

Step 3: Add in 3 cups of cranberries.

Step 4: Add one cup of sugar

Step 5: Stir! You’re going to alternate between stirring your sauce and covering the pot with a lid and letting it sit every few minutes. Make sure your heat isn’t too high, my sister said it should be on a “simmer” whatever that means. Continue this until your cause starts to get thicker.

Step 6: Add in some lime juice for some razzle dazzle, just before your sauce is almost done.

Step 7: Keep stirring until the berries have popped and you’re cause is looking thick. Pour it out into a bowl and you’re all done! Can be served hot, or you can let it cool down.

If you’re looking for a recipe with a little more kick to it, heres a great recipe for drunken cranberry sauce!

Want a gluten free holiday meal? Check out Jace’s Macaroni Surprise!

Holiday Cook-off

A little bit of Italy on the Thanksgiving Table

Lovingly shared by Sylvia Laabs

Nonna Tosca’s Florentine Stuffing

Thanksgiving meals have an impact on us all. It might be memories of having extended family sitting together to eat – or it might be memories of moving up from the “kids table” to the “big table”. I remember my first time moving up to the Big Table. While I was excited to move up, I was upset that my (favorite) cousin who was 4 years younger, and next-in-line, also moved up the same year I did! That’s not fair! But I digress.

Another fond memory of Thanksgiving meals was that my Nonna Tosca, a first generation Italian, always had spaghetti on the table. Maybe that’s why today, spaghetti and meat balls is one of my all-time comfort meals. Her family was from Lucca and Pontasserchio, located between Pisa and Florence. I always liked that we incorporated traditional Thanksgiving food with food from our family origins.

But the food that really stood out was her stuffing! It was seasoned with so much goodness; it wasn’t just moist, baked breadcrumbs. Every year there were spoonfuls on my plate, then turkey and stuffing sandwiches a few hours later, while Nonna would play Blackjack with me and my cousins. That’s how I learned to count so quickly in my head, well, at least multiples of 10 and 11. Nonna wasn’t made of lots of money, but she loved to go to Vegas to gamble, and Blackjack was her game. She took me to Vegas as my 21st birthday present, and that’s when I found out she didn’t know the betting strategies to get the best odds. I hated playing at the same table as her during that trip. But as a kid, playing Blackjack after Thanksgiving dinner with pennies, nickels, and dimes – it was the best after-dinner thing we could do with Nonna!

Ace and King of spades playing cards

One year, I went to my Nonna’s the day before Thanksgiving to help her prep food. I got to help make her Florentine stuffing. I told her I wanted the recipe so I could make it when I would host my own Thanksgiving meals in the future. She said she didn’t have a recipe, she just “knows what to do, like I was taught”. Fortunately, I had the foresight to grab a pen and paper. I had her put ingredients into a pan or bowl, then I’d take it out and measure it, and put it into another bowl so she could continue making her stuffing. I wrote down the entire recipe and it has become a treasured family recipe. For several years after my Nonna passed away, I’d get a call in early November from an Aunt or cousin, asking for Nonna’s stuffing recipe that no one else ever wrote down. But I had it… and it’s a staple on my Thanksgiving table now.

As a Christmas present, I’ve asked my family for a custom cutting board with the recipe etched on the board, like cutting boards found here. Let’s see if I get it this year!

Quality ingredients are key to a tasty stuffing. You can find the fresh vegetables to use in your stuffing at the local Channel Island Harbor Farmers Market.

Fresh veggies chopped and ready to add to the browned meat
browned meat with vegetables simmering
Spinach, eggs and parmesan cheese to add to chilled meat and veggie mix

Nonna Tosca’s Florentine Stuffing

  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • ¼ lb. pork sausage
  • 1 medium onion, chopped fine
  • 5 stalks celery, chopped fine
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped fine
  • 2 carrots, grated fine
  • ½ C chopped parsley
  • 2 bunches fresh spinach (or 2 packs of frozen leaf spinach)
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 3 eggs beaten
  • 1 box of bread stuffing
  • 1 ¾ C parmesan cheese
  • 14 – 20 oz turkey/chicken broth
  1. Brown the meats in a little olive oil
  2. Add garlic and vegetables (except spinach) and let simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Put in a big bowl and let cool
  4. Add chopped spinach, beaten eggs and 1 C parmesan cheese
  5. Add bread stuffing and turkey/chicken broth to moisten mixture
  6. Put into baking dish (deep 9×13) so stuffing is about 2 inches thick
  7. Sprinkle remaining ¾ C Parmesan on top
  8. Bake covered at 325 for 40 minutes, then an additional 10 minutes uncovered
Tosca’s Florentine Stuffing

You can also check out other favorite recipes from my classmates

Mangia Mangia!

Holiday Cook-off

Grandma Fernanda’s Thanksgiving Stuffing Recipe

My great great grandmother Fernanda’s 125-year-old stuffing recipe is a dish you have to try at the Thanksgiving table. My grandma, mother, aunts, cousins, siblings, and I continue with my great great grandmother’s traditional stuffing recipe.  This stuffing recipe truly is one of a kind and it has never been shared with anyone outside of the family. Hope you enjoy it as much as we love it!


This recipe makes a large portion of stuffing

  • 3 boxes of  Mrs. Cubbison’s  Traditional Stuffing Seasoned Bread Crumbs- brown box
  • 3 boxes of  Mrs.  Cubbison’s  Cornbread Stuffing Bread Crumbs- yellow box
  • 3 pounds  of cooked lean hamburger meat with drippings
  • 3 pounds of cooked Farmer John ground  breakfast sausage meat- with drippings
  • 2 eggs- slightly mixed uncooked 
  • 3 cups of finely chopped celery
  • 1 1/4 cups of shredded/grated carrots
  • 1 cup of finely diced green onions
  • 4 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 can carnation evaporated milk
  • 1 teaspoon  garlic salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 6 tablespoons of butter


  1. Begin with a very large mixing bowl
  2. Empty all of the 6 boxes of the traditional and cornbread stuffing into the large bowl
  3. Cook the hamburger meat and season with garlic salt and pepper. Break up hamburger meat to the small pieces [crumble pea size pieces} 
  4. In separate pan cook sausage, no seasoning, to pea sized pieces. It’s best to use a potato masher when cooking the hamburger meat and sausage. This helps to break it down to small pieces.
  5. Once the hamburger meat and sausage are cooked, pour them into the bowl with the drippings into the stuffing mix.
  6. Add chopped celery, diced green onions, and grated carrots. Mix well.
  7. Allow these ingredients to cool and the flavors of the meats to soak into the stuffing mix for about 10-15 minutes.
  8. Add UNCOOKED mixture/scramble eggs into stuffing mixture.
  9. Add 1 can Carnation evaporated milk into mixture. Make sure to shake can well before opening.
  10. Add 2 cups of  chicken broth then remaining broth a half a cup at a time
  11. Mix all ingredients well, its best to mix with your hands, it will look and feel like a meatloaf texture.
  12. It’s best to add the chicken broth a little at a time to make sure that your stuffing does not become too wet.  
  13. Once the stuffing is all mix up place in ziplock  bags or large bowl,  refrigerate until you’re ready to stuff your turkey.

Making your stuffing a day or two ahead allows the flavors to incorporate together.

You will also have plenty of stuffing to place in a large casserole bowl, place about   4 tablespoons of butter on top of uncooked stuffing. Cover the casserole bowl with foil and bake for 40 minutes @ 350 

To stuff turkey, take the cold stuffing, stuff your turkey at the neck and chest cavity add  1 tablespoon of butter on top of the stuffing mix before baking your turkey. The reason you add the butter on top of the stuffing it adds to the flavors and keeps it from drying up.


If you choose not to cook all of your stuffing, you can also freeze it and use it at a later time. To stuff a chicken, turkey, or danish hen.

If you don’t have all the ingredients listed above go check out Channel Islands Harbor Farmer’s Market Fall Season Favorites!

This recipe is not for the faint of heart. So, if you want to try an easier stuffing recipe check out Remi Cruz’s website that is linked below.

Holiday Cook-off

Classic Shaw Family Green Bean Casserole

A Shaw Family Thanksgiving staple

Hello, VcSocial fans I have for you today the one and only Shaw Family Green Bean Casserole the only cure for picky eaters, and your grandmother who can only consume warm soup as a meal. This traditional recipe has been passed down through my family for 17 years. It has been my constant craving from the start of November to Thanksgiving Day. I even enjoy heating up the leftovers in the microwave for my day after lunch. So without further ado, I bring you the recipe below.

Ingredients (Serves: 12-15) [Preheat oven to 400 degrees]

  • 1 1/2 Containers French’s Original Crispy Fried Onions
  • 2 Lbs. Fresh Green Beans Cut and Trimmed
  • 1 Lbs. Fresh Mushrooms Finely Chopped
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Ground Pepper
  • 2 Teaspoons Salt
  • 4 Cloves Garlic Minced
  • 2 Cups Chicken Broth
  • 1 Cup Cream
  • 1 Cup Milk
  • 4 Tbls Flour + 4 Tbls Butter [Rue]


  • Step 1: Blanche Green Beans in salted water for 7 minutes. [Drain, put aside, let cool]
  • Step 2: Saute mushrooms and garlic until cooked [set aside]
  • Step 3: Add butter and flour make light rue [Cook until it turns white] (DO NOT OVERCOOK!!!!)
  • Step 4: Add Cream, Milk, Stock, Mushroom Mix, salt & pepper
  • Step 5: Cook over low heat and simmer until sauce thickens (About 7 Mins)
  • Step 6: In a large bowl combine 1 container Crispy Onions, green beans, and mushroom soup mix. {Mix thouroughly}
  • Step 7: Pour Mixture into large Cassorole Dish
  • Step 8: Sprinkle remaining onions onto the top of the dish
  • Step 9: Cover, and place in oven for 15 Mins, Uncover and cook for 30 Mins or until bubbly
  • Step 10: Remove from oven and enjoy!

Thats how to make the Classic Shaw Family Green Bean Casserole so you to can enjoy these Good Eats! Because when your here your family.

Holiday Cook-off

Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin’ Guacamole

A chips and dip recipe that’s “So Good” from the hills of Kentucky to the beaches of Ventucky.

VC Social’s first ever “recipe-off” is on! It’s the final project for my Digital Media Marketing class and my entry is a recipe from my Uncle Lonnie, who is a conga playing hippie from the hills of Harlan County Kentucky. Yep, banjos congas and avocados go really well together!

Uncle Lonnie and I played in a band together once upon a time ago in the Valley of Los Angeles. He was “passsing through” and ended up living with us for a few months. We were glad to have him with us, and his gift in return was homemade trail mix cookies and…you guessed it…homemade Guacamole. He kept the beat as we jammed into the night, and he always had a fresh bowl of chips and guacamole.

“Everytime I make this guacamole I think of my uncle and all the good times we had…”

His recipe is, as you would imagine, an organic process loosely defined. For the sake of the event, I give you the best approximation of how to make Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin’ Guacamole. Feel free to improvise.

3-4 large ripe Avocados
1 lime 
1 large white onion
1 bunch of fresh cilantro
1 large tablespoon unground Cumin seed
1 jalapeno
1 dozen cherry tomatoes
Salt, pepper and Tajin

Cut the Avocados in half, take out the seed and spoon the contents into a mixing bowl.  Peel and coursely chop the onion.  Dice the Jalepeno,   Rinse, remove stems and coursely chop Cilantro. Coursely chop cherry tomatoes. Add ingredients to mixing bowl.  
Squeeze a small amount of lime juice on the cutting board and pour the unground cumin in the joice, Mix with knife until Cumin is wet.  Dice Cumin and add mixture to mixing bowl.  Squeeze the remaining lime juice into bowl and cooursely mix until all ingredients are unifom.  Do not over mix.  
Add salt, pepper and Tajin to taste.

Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin’ Guacamole recipe has two secrets…

Every time I make this guacamole I think of my uncle and all the good times we had during his stay with me. My old band mares and friends from that period of my life remember him because of the guacamole and his uplifting spirit. And now I’m sharing that spirit right here in Ventura, aka Ventucky. You gotta try it! Watch the video and just listen to my friends when they take a bite!

With Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin Guacamole, I came here to win. Just kidding, I came here to learn and have fun. And I brought some chips and salsa too.

In closing Uncle Lonnie’s Rockin’ Guacamole recipe has two secrets, one is to cook from the heart, and the other is to use freshly chopped cumin seed soaked in lime juice– And of course fresh ingredients. Now go! Play some music, eat, drink, be merry, and Rock On!

Get my classmate’s recipe entries here!

If you use this recipe, I’d love to hear from you! Share you story in the comments below.